Use of RIS in navigation of the Rhine

Duty and responsibility to use RIS

Vessels navigating the Rhine are required to use the services specified in the Rhine Police Regulations. The CCNR and the waterway authorities additionally recommend using to the greatest extent possible the information provided by RIS and other services. The skipper retains responsibility for decisions related to navigation and to the heading of the vessel. Information provided by RIS is no substitute for the decision to be taken by the skipper.

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Vessel equipment for using RIS

Vessels navigating on the Rhine are fitted with radiotelephone equipment that allows simultaneous two-channel reception of inland navigation radio (ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore). From 1 December 2014 onwards, vessels will be equipped with:

  • an Inland AIS device,
  • an Inland ECDIS device in information mode (or a comparable device for displaying charts) using up-to-date electronic inland navigation charts.

To make the best possible use of the services available, it is desirable that vessels should be fitted with:

  • radar for displaying traffic in the immediate vicinity of the vessel,
  • a PC with mobile data communication equipment (GSM) for e-mail and internet services as well as for electronic reporting,
  • Inland ECDIS equipment in navigation mode (i.e. connected to the radar), in order to increase navigation safety.
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Traffic centres (traffic posts)

Traffic centres

The waterway authorities have established traffic centres (traffic posts) along the Rhine. These are the major shore stations for radiotelephone communication in inland navigation as well as the centres for Inland Vessel Traffic Services.

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Notices to Skippers

The waterway authorities offer for the Rhine and other waterways on dedicates websites notices to skippers in electronic form.

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CCNR regulations pertaining to River Information Services and equipment

Neither the RIS Guidelines, the standards nor the Guide Concerning Radiotelephone Service on Inland Waterways are of themselves legally binding. For this reason, the CCNR has made additions to its legal regulations in order to introduce services, specify mandatory equipment and to require skippers to comply with standards. The main requirements defined in the Rhine Police Regulations and in the Rhine Vessel Inspection Regulations are listed in the table below.

Legal regulation Content of the rule
Rhine Police Regulations
Article 4.05 Use of radiotelephone, basic requirements for radiotelephone equipment
Article 4.06 Use of radar, basic requirements for radar equipment
Article 4.07(1) and (2) Requirement to fit and use Inland AIS (from 1 December 2014 onwards)
Article 4.07(3) Requirement to fit an Inland ECDIS device in navigation mode (or comparable device for displaying charts); requirement to use up-to-date electronic inland navigation charts (from 1 December 2014 onwards)
Article 12.01 Reporting obligation (radio, electronic reporting)
Rhine Vessel Inspection Regulations
Article 7.06(1) Basic technical requirements for radar equipment
Article 7.06(3) Basic technical requirements for Inland AIS equipment
Annex M, Part I Minimum requirements and required test conditions for radar navigation equipment in the Rhine navigation
Annex M, Part II Minimum requirements and required test conditions for rate-of-turn indicators in the Rhine navigation
Annex M, Part III Requirements regarding installation and functional testing of radar navigation equipment and of rate-of-turn indicators for Rhine navigation
Annex M, Part IV Certification of the installation and of functioning of radar navigation equipment and of rate-of-turn indicators in the Rhine navigation
Annex M, Part V Lists of competent authorities, approved equipment and approved specialised firms
Annex N, Part I Requirements for Inland AIS equipment and regulations on installation and functional testing of Inland AIS equipment
Annex N, Part II Certification of the installation and functioning of Inland AIS equipment
Annex N, Part III Lists of competent authorities, approved equipment and approved specialised firms
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